How many amps does a microwave use? (2023)

Microwaves are essential kitchen appliances. For most of us, being able to cook a steaming hot meal in minutes is a dream.

Plus, most are affordable within a normal person's budget, making them a hit with young families and students.

But with convenience comes a price - an often overlooked one. Have you ever thought about how much electricity a microwave uses? Luckily I did some digging and discovered the following.

How many amps does a microwave use?

When plugged into a standard 120 volt outlet, most microwaves draw 600 to 1,200 watts of power, which is 5-10 amps. At 110 volts the amps rise slightly to 5.5-10.9, while at 240 volts the amps drop to 2.5-5. It's not a lot, but it adds up over time.

In today's article, we look at how much electricity a typical microwave uses, what that means for your bills, and how you can use those numbers to make smarter decisions.

Table of Contents

What is an amplifier in terms of power?

Simply put, an ampere is a unit of electric current and the higher the ampere rating, the more current will be drawn from the source and vice versa.

I know this can be a difficult concept to grasp, so let's start by defining power.

Power in this case is the amount of energy required to do the work and in microwaves it is measured in watts (W). A watt is the product of voltage (V) times current (A). To put it in a more relatable context, higher wattage means food is cooked and reheated faster.

How do amps fit into the equation?

(Video) How Many Amps Does a Microwave Draw

The answer is surprisingly simple. Most microwaves fall in the 800-1500 watt range. To get the amperage of a microwave, divide the wattage by the voltage. For example, an 800-watt microwave plugged into a 120-volt outlet draws about 6.6 amps of electricity.

In short, amps help you quickly determine how much current your device draws. The higher the amperage, the more energy you need to run your device. Knowing this will help you plan better when using multiple devices at the same time.

It can also save you a few dollars on your monthly electric bill. As a homeowner, I always appreciate that.

How to calculate microwave booster usage?

Assuming your microwave is plugged into a standard 110V outlet, you can easily calculate amp draw using the formula (I = P/V).

I = the current in amps, P = the wattage of the microwave, and V = the voltage of the outlet (120V).

Most microwaves are rated at 600-1200W. For example, if I have a 600W microwave, I can calculate the amp draw using this formula: 600W / 120V = 5A.

The same applies to other microwaves:

  • A 1100W microwave draws 9.16A
  • A 1200W microwave draws 10A

And while this is a great way to calculate your microwave's power consumption, I recommend investing in a multimeter or ammeter to be 100% sure. This way you can get a more accurate reading. look at thatLehrvideoif you need help learning to use a multimeter.

If electricity isn't your forte, you can always contact a professional electrician to check the readings. Safety first!

A table of different microwave power levels and amplifiers used

In terms of energy consumption, microwaves can add significantly to your energy bill. To help you better understand the power draw of different models, here is a table of typical wattage and corresponding amps.

PSUse the formula (I = P / V).



600 Watt800 Watt1100 Watt1400 Watt
110 V5,5 Ampere7,3 Ampere10 Ampere12,7 Ampere
120 V5 Ampere6,7 Ampere9,2 Ampere11,7 Ampere
220 V2,7 Ampere3,6 Ampere5 Ampere6,4 Ampere

This information can help you decide if your microwave is drawing too many amps for your needs. As a bonus, I always unplug my microwave after use - it saves energy and money.

What Factors Affect How Much Power a Microwave Oven Uses?

There are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to how much power your microwave uses, including cooking time, the size of the microwave and the type of food being heated/cooked.

(Video) Testing the wattage of my microwave oven

Here's a breakdown of each:

1. Cooking time

In general, the longer a microwave cooks, the more energy it uses and vice versa. So if you're just heating up a quick snack for a few seconds, you don't have to worry about drawing too much current. To save money, I recommend investing in a high-efficiency model.

2. Microwave size

Think of it as the wattage of your microwave. In general, large microwaves are higher in wattage and require more amps to operate than smaller models. However, they are faster and will save you time and energy in the long run.

3. Type of food

The type of food you cook or reheat affects how much power your microwave uses. Foods with a high water content, such as vegetables, require less cooking power than foods with a lower water content, such as meat and grains.

Remember that microwaves heat the water molecules in food. The more water there is, the more efficient the cooking process.

4. Atmospheric Conditions

If you are in an area with higher than average humidity, your microwave may use more energy to heat and cook food. Water in the atmosphere absorbs more heat, forcing your device to work harder.

The 3 Best Low Wattage Microwave Ovens

If you're looking to save energy and money on your next microwave purchase, these three low-wattage options are for you. All under 800 watts, these microwaves reduce your electricity bills without sacrificing performance.

1.BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave

The 700 watt model packs all the features of a full-fledged oven into a compact size, perfect for small spaces. As a bonus, it has a one-button quick launch button, making it extremely easy to use.

2.Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ 0.7 Cu. feet 700 watt microwave

Farberware Classic features a sleek stainless steel body with ten power levels and six one-touch settings. It's an affordable and reliable choice and will add a beautiful touch of sophistication to any kitchen.

3.Nostalgic retro countertop microwave

As the name suggests, this microwave has a stylish retro design that will turn heads. It's also rated at 800 watts, has a bright LED digital display, 12 pre-programmed settings, and has a 0.9 cubic foot capacity. Also, I love the vintage vibe it brings to the kitchen.

The 3 Best High Power Microwave Ovens

If you're looking for more power and budget isn't an issue, here are three high-wattage microwaves to tick all the boxes.

1.Toshiba ML2-EM62P(SS) Large tabletop microwave

Toshiba ML2-EM62P (SS) is a powerful 2.2 cu ft microwave with a power rating of 1200 watts and six automatic menus. It's an excellent choice if you're looking for a fast and powerful microwave. Also, I have to admit that it looks sleek and modern in any kitchen.

2.Panasonic Microwave NN-SN686S

If you are looking for a high-end microwave, the Panasonic NN-SN686S 1200W is an excellent choice. It offers a number of features such as B. the inverter technology to save energy and a Genius sensor to automatically adjust the cooking time.

(Video) Root Electric FAQ - Microwave Tripping The Circuit Breaker

3.Breville Smooth Wave Mikrowelle

This microwave offers a combination of modern design and sophisticated technology. It has a power rating of 1250 watts and is 50% quieter than the average microwave. In addition, Sensor iQ technology allows cooking time and power to be adjusted based on the type of food you are reheating or cooking.

How to save electricity when using a microwave

When using a microwave, the power consumption can be surprisingly high. Luckily, with a few simple adjustments and tips, you can save power and money while keeping your food warm.

Here's how:

1. Unplug your microwave when not in use

It may seem obvious, but microwaves continue to use a small amount of electricity even when not in use. Over time, that can add up and skyrocket your electric bill. Make it a habit to turn off your microwave whenever you're done cooking or reheating.

2. Choose low to medium power settings

Most microwaves have three power levels: High, Medium, and Low. High is usually the default.

Choose either the medium or low setting for best results. These options significantly reduce power consumption while still cooking your food to perfection.

Plus, you don't have to worry about overcooking, which is mainly associated with high power settings.

3. Use the appropriate container size

Make sure the container you use is microwavable and the right size. It should be no larger than three times the volume of your food to ensure energy is not wasted. This way you get a well-prepared meal without using too much electricity.

4. Avoid opening the microwave oven door unnecessarily

When cooking in a microwave, resist the urge to open the door. Every time you open the door, you release the heat, forcing the microwave to generate more power to bring the food to the desired temperature.

And if you need to take a look at your food while it's cooking, keep open hours to a minimum. Or invest in a good old fashioned kitchen timer.

5. Stir the food regularly

Stirring the food in the microwave will help distribute the heat evenly and ensure it is adequately cooked. This reduces cooking time and power consumption.

6. Clean regularly

Keeping your microwave clean improves its performance and helps it work more efficiently and use less electricity. Wipe it down regularly and keep the interior free of spills, splashes and food crumbs. It also extends the life of your microwave.

7. Invest in an energy efficient microwave

When you're looking for a new microwave, don't settle for just one. Consider a model with inverter technology, which allows for more precise and consistent power levels.

(Video) How many amps is a microwave?

Also look out for ENERGY STAR certification, which indicates the model meets US Department of Energy efficiency standards. It may cost more up front, but will save you money in the long run.

Frequently asked questions about how many amps does a microwave use

1. Can a microwave run on a 15 amp breaker?

Most microwaves draw between 5 and 12 amps when plugged into a 120 volt circuit. The exact amps used will depend on the wattage of your device. As a result, a 15 amp circuit breaker can safely handle a 1500 watt or less microwave. Check your microwave's rating plate for the exact amperage.

2. How many amps does a 1500w microwave use?

A 1500W microwave draws approximately 12.5 amps when connected to a 120 volt circuit and 13.6 amps on a 110 volt circuit. If you have a 240 volt circuit, the amperage reduces by almost half to 6.25 amps.

3. Does a microwave require its own 20 amp circuit?

Yes, a dedicated 20 amp circuit allows the microwave to operate safely without tripping a breaker or creating an electrical hazard. It also helps ensure optimal appliance performance and provide a more consistent cooking experience.

4. Are microwaves 15 amps or 20 amps?

Most microwaves are rated for 20 amp breakers due to the constant current spikes and sudden load increases. However, a 15 amp circuit breaker can be safely used as long as the maximum load is not exceeded.

5. How many amps does a 700 watt microwave use?

If you have a 120 volt system, a 700 watt microwave will draw approximately 5.83 amps and 6.36 amps when plugged into a 110 volt circuit. A 240 volt circuit would reduce the current to 2.91 amps.

6. How many amps does a 900 watt microwave use?

A 900 watt microwave uses 7.5 amps at 120 volts, 8.18 amps at 110 volts and 3.75 amps at 240 volts.

7. What size circuit breaker for a 1000 watt microwave?

While a 15 amp circuit breaker can technically accommodate a 1000 watt microwave, a 20 amp circuit breaker is the most recommended as it protects the device from overloading the circuit. Check your local electrical codes before purchasing and installing a new circuit breaker.

8. How many amps does a 1200 watt microwave use?

If you have a 1200 watt microwave, the current rating is ten amps when plugged into a 120 volt circuit and 10.9 amps on a 110 volt circuit. For a 240 volt system, it's five amps.

The final result

The average microwave requires 5-10 amps to operate depending on the wattage.

The good news is that this falls within the typical 15 to 20 amp range that most household circuits are rated for, reducing the risk of tripping circuit breakers.

And with a few simple tips and adjustments, you can get the most out of your microwave while saving energy.


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(Bill Gilmour)
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